5 ways to make new friends as an adult, because for some reason it’s hard AF

Finding new friends as an adult can be hard. Once you’re out of school, it can feel like the friendship pool just dries up. The ways you befriended people in your teenage years don’t always translate to adulthood. That’s okay, because it’s National Make a Friend Day! There’s no better time to tackle your anxieties about adult friendships than NMFD. (Yeah, that’s right, we just gave it an acronym. Making friends when you’re an adult is really hard and you need all the support you can get.)

Maybe you’ve moved to a new city and you’re still struggling to acclimate yourself. It’s great to have your hometown besties just a phone call away, but sometimes you need an in-person buddy to catch a movie or grab coffee with. Or maybe you just started a new job, and making friends in the adult workplace isn’t quite as easy as it was when you were slinging hamburgers or making coffee. Maybe that’s why National Make a Friend Day was created in the first place!

Here’s a few suggestions on how to start the friend-making process on National Make a Friend Day.

1Go local.

The wise ladies behind the best-friends podcast Call Your Girlfriend suggest getting to know your city while you’re on the friendship hunt. Hosts Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman talked about this on their latest episode, and they believe behaving like a local helps you feel more settled in a new place. That can lead to more confidence, which is key to making a new friend! By playing tourist in your own city, as the CYG ladies advise, you might even have your very own friendship meet-cute.

2Attend a Meetup.

Do you follow a favorite blog or podcast? Are you a huge fan of indie movies? Find a fandom group in your town and attend a meetup out in the real world. There’s even a website for that. Sometimes making new friends starts with a leap, and what better leap to make than hanging out with people who love something you love, too?

3Volunteer your time.

Putting yourself out there can be hard. It’s not like you can just walk outside and yell, “Hello! I am here to make friends!” You’ve gotta be doing something while you’re at it. Why not try volunteering for a cause you believe in? You’re bound to run into all sorts of new people that way. And hey, even if you don’t make a forever friend, you’re still spending time giving back to your community.

4Ask someone out.

No, not on romantic dates. But friend dates are totally a thing! If you know someone just in passing but you think they’re cool, shoot them a text or send a Facebook message asking if they’d like to hang out. It never hurts to tell someone, “Hey, I think you’re rad, wanna grab a coffee?”

5Talk to people you already know.

Do you have at least one friend where you live? We’re not advising you to leech onto their social circle in search of new friends…but we’re also not not advising that. Sometimes all you need is one connection into a group, and it can open up a new door to a potential friendship pool. So go ahead, dive right in!

What are your plans for National Make a Friend Day?

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